Actor Anupam Kher was chosen as the Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India on October 11. He replaced Gajendra Chauhan, whose term ended in March 2017. For the past two years, FTII has been marred by various controversies as Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment was not accepted and met with a 139-day strike by students. Now, the students’ association has written an ‘open letter’ to the newly-appointed Chairman, highlighting various problems the premier institute faces. Students have alleged that the iconic institute has become an ‘institute for short-term courses’ and contractual faculties.
As per The Indian Express, this is what FTII students want to tell Anupam Kher, and are also curious to know his take on these issues:
-FTII students don’t want to convert FTII as an institute for short term courses for generation of funds. Students say that the courses demand a hefty fee which restricts their careers.
– Lavish amount of money was spent by the administration on Open Day and Foundation Day should be spent on buying lights, equipment to help them in finishing their projects on time.
– Confusion in the new credit based system as workshops and classes were being cut down from the syllabus during the course of the semester.
–Light-men are not paid currently, despite working for six or seven days a week. All the light-men have been reduced contractual labours although in the past the used to be permanent employees.
-Faculties are hired on contractual basis and fear that they could be sacked any moment. Faculties and staff are not getting salaries on time. This results in dearth in the number of staff for the institute to run properly. Because of this implementation of syllabus is getting affected.
-Students are being forced to sign undertakings to finish their courses ‘on time’, even as the administration fails to provide the necessary resources essential to finish their projects on time.
— The new syllabus has brought limitations to the exercise norms. The three-day-eight-hour shift has been reduced to a two-day-twelve-hour shift which would be exhausting and also inhuman to force the lightmen, carpenters, painters and make up artists and actors to work at such a stretch.
– Since February 2017, student representatives have been excluded from Academic Council discussion which is against the Constitution of the institute.
-Students are asked to look at cinema as a commodity and not as an art form which serves the larger human cause.
(Inputs from the open letter published in The Indian Express)